Saint Louis, MO Real Estate News

By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
I earned my GRI Designation in August 2000.  This is another designation I recommend other Realtors work toward earning.  Following is information on the GRI Designation (compiled from the NAR website). The GRI symbol is the mark of a real estate professional who has made the commitment to provide a high level of professional services by securing a strong educational foundation. REALTORS® with the GRI designation are highly trained in many areas of real estate to better serve and protect their clients.Developed for members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and offered through State REALTOR® Associations, the GRI program includes 90 hours of coursework on topics from marketing and servicing listed properties to real estate law.Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fa...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
It was high time to get a new digital camera, but I didn't know where to begin.  I was using an old Sony digital camera that used a floppy disk.  For outside, the pics were alright, but for inside and low light situations, it was not cutting the mustard.  I checked out the Photography Group on Active Rain and read Jeff Turner's post about the Kodak EasyShare V705.  After doing some checking around (at department and camera stores) to see what was available for the price, I decided to purchase the V705 from Amazon.  Total with shipping was $209.90, and I since I applied for and charged the camera to the Amazon.com credit card, they are refunding me $30 for the purchase.  At Office Depot, the same camera was priced at over $300.  I think I got a pretty good deal.  The camera arrived in le...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
  Too Risque For Activerain? I posted a blog yesterday   http://activerain.com/blogsview/72632/St-Louis-Realtor-Confused on how to get comments on my posts.  The post featured a somewhat disturbing photo of an extremely large woman laying on top of an apparently skinny man (you can only see the bottom of his legs under the woman).  The woman is clothed in her underwear and the photo, while admittedly disconcerting, is in no way obscene.  The post actually generated a few comments, none of which were critical of my use of that photo.  I then got an email from a person who I assume is connected with Activerain, asking me to remove the offending photograph.I responded that I would if AR insisted, but that I felt that the use of that photograph was appropriate because I was making a politic...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
    Recently I started working on getting my website geared up to be more than just an electronic brochure.  In that process I started reading a lot about website optimization.  That is, getting your website to turn up higher in the results when people search for it on the web using a search engine such as yahoo.com, MSN or Google.  The one thing that I can tell you is that it's damn confusing.  Nobody truely seems to know what the rules are and every once in while, the search engines change the rules without telling anybody.Anyway, there are other sources on the web that can do a better job than I can explaining to you the ends and outs of SEO, Search Engine Optimization, but I wanted to bring to your attention the importance of it.  With more and more people utilizing the web to make ...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
  Mortgage Broker Vs Mortgage Banker Vs Bank.  Which should you use for your real estate financing?  Is one better than another?The answer to the first question above, "Which should you use for your real estate financing" is, "It depends!"  The answer to the second question, Is one better than the other?, is, "yes".Does that clear things up?  If it doesn't you're not alone. A lot of people, including a good number of real estate professionals don't actually have a firm grasp on exactly how the mortgage banking industry is structured.This and some comments on various blogs that were disparaging to mortgage brokers are the reasons I chose this topic to write on today.    The truth of the matter is that each of these types of mortgage lenders has strengths and weaknesses and the more you k...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
I updated my CRS website this morning, and I added the link from my CRS page to the links at the right on this page.I feel the general public does not understand what these designations mean.  Following is a description of the CRS designation, from the CRS website:What's a CRS?The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education.  Only 5% of Realtors nationwide earn this designation. Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring the CRS Designation on agents who meet its stringent requirements. Why Use a CRS? Today, home buying and selling is faster, more complex, and more competitive in every wa...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
I admit, I'm still pretty much a newbie here.  That said, I've been working pretty hard to participate on a daily basis if possible.  I try to read at least 5 or 6 blogs per day and to comment on most that I read.  When I write a post, I attempt to put some work into it and research what I have to say and sight my sources, etc.  I also attempt to be at least a little bit witty (maybe that's why I'm not getting that many comments???? hmmm???).Anyway, I noticed something.  Some of these posts are poorly written, some are pretty inane and some our downright solicitous.  Yet they get comments.  While other posts that are well written, etc. go by without comment.  What's up with this?And not to be rude here because I'm very excited about being able to blog on here, but what's up with how the...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Dennis, Kim & I went to a seminar this evening.  It was a seminar on the foreclosure market.  Following are some notes from the discussion.  We have signed up to take the three-day class - $199 for two people did not sound bad at all.  We shall see... If we just learn a couple of things, it will be well worth it.98% of millionaires are made from dealing in real estate.250,000 homes nationwide went into foreclosure in 2006.3.5 trillion dollars are going to be readjusted in 2007.One million homeowners will see their payments double this year.There are three times to buy:1.  Before - pre-foreclosure2.  During - at the auction3.  After - REO - bank ownedYou can live in a state of lack or a state of abundance.Mindset is a choice.Have the occupancy inspection on the downstairs unit on the Mia...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Stormy day today, and the temps are dropping.  Supposed to have near freezing temps for the next several nights.  What a change...I wanted to share some information about a situation that occured on the Tholozan property last week.  It's a two-family, with one side rented.  The listing agent several times told me that everything was going fine with the occupancy permits.  As closing day loomed and I wasn't getting copies of the permits, I called the City of St Louis Housing Conservation District.  They informed me that there was an active permit on the vacant side, but the certificate had expired on the rented side.  I decided to run downtown to the office and see the paperwork for myself.  It was as they had said, and I confirmed what I knew to be correct.  Any time a property changes ...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
   Lately I've been working on my website to try and get it search engine optimized and on that note, a special thanks to Karen George, the Arizona Mortgage Lady.  She's gone out of her way to provide some very valuable insight into how the search engines work and the importance of content and having your site properly structured in order to appear relevant to the most popular search terms.One of the things that I've learned about the SEO thing is that the search engines give a lot of credence to size.  That is the bigger a site is, the more relevant the search engines tend to think that it is.  This also works on sites that are linked to yours.  i.e. the bigger the site that links to yours, the more important the search engines tend to think that your site is.  That said, I've been loo...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
     As I'm writing this post I'm looking up at a photograph of a Bi-State Bus (the St. Louis area's local bus company) that has a giant banner on the side of it with my company's logo.  I actually had two buses that were supposed to travel a certain route (though an area of St. Louis real estate that I was focusing on).  I honestly don't remember how much that ad campaign cost me, but I do remember how many calls I got off of it.  That answer is ZERO!The same thing when I advertised on the two St. Louis radio stations.  The first lesson that I learned was not to listen to the sales person, especially if you don't have a lot of money to spend.  Their motivations and yours are not the same.  They are looking to sell vacant air and you're looking to generate telephone calls.  The two don'...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Another beautiful day in St Louis.  My thermometer reads 82 degrees.  We're told it's not going to last, though, with a rapid cool-down towards the end of the week.The Cardinals lost 6-1 to the Mets last night on their opening night start.  This makes the third lost home opener in the past 11 years.  St Louis had won its past two season openers.  For more information, visit http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=stlThis past week's market report for St Louis City (areas 1,2,3).  Stats are gathered from the local Multiple Listing Service:There were 154 Active listings - Prices ranged from $14,900 to $689,500.There were 46 Contingent/Option listings - Prices ranged from $47,500 to $1,495,000.There were 81 Pending listings - Prices ranged from $16,900 to $$465,000.There were 69 So...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
April Fool's Day - And Cardinals' Opening Day at Busch Stadium.  The 2006 World Series Champions will take the field against the Mets this evening.  This Opening Day is a much anticipated holiday for many in the St Louis area.After the storms yesterday, the weather should be pleasant for the pre-game festivities and the game.The Opening Day Pep Rally starts at 3:00 pm to 5:30 at Kiener Plaza.  Other rallies will also take place during the afternoon.  In the ballpark, the gates will open at 4:00 pm.  The Budweiser Clydesdales will open the pre-game ceremonies at 6;00 pm, and then the motorcade of convertibles will follow, introducing the 2007 team.  The 2006 World Champion flag will be raised.  This ceremony will also feature members from the last two World Series winners from 1982 and '...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
   Something For Nothing!  Just read the post from a lender offering a .05% credit towards closing costs.  This lender says that they are the "ONLY LENDER OFFERING THIS".  NOT ANY MORE!Announcing Today!  The ValueList .05% credit towards closing costs!  As a matter of fact, I'll bump your offer to .06% towards closing costs!Actually, does your borrower need help with their closing costs?  Many do and it's nothing new for a lender to offer a credit.  I've done it hundreds of times over the years and I'll do it again if need be.  The important thing to remember is that there is no thing such as a free lunch!  If I'm going to credit your buyer a percentage back, I'm making it up somewhere else.  Generally it's in the rate.For example, if I'm making 1.5% back on the mortgage when I sell it ...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Closed my last two properties for the month today.  The Pinetree Lane deal closed first and then the Tholozan property closed at 11:30 am.  The earlier closing went very smoothly; the Tholozan closing had last minute glitches.  It was an FHA deal, and this one just required so much more documentation and hoops to jump through.  We did get it closed and funded, though...I wanted to share some points from this past Tuesday's office meeting.  I know I'm a few days behind...We watched the last part of "The Art of Selling."  This presentation covered "making the close."  Some main points were:- Closing should be a natural progression from a great presentation.- Use "Tie Down" questions (trial close).  Turn the client's statement into a question.  They can say yes or no.  Some examples are:  ...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
  Who Do You Market To When You Don't Belong To Any One Group!  I've been reading through some of the profiles here on Activerain and I've noticed something.  Actually, I've noticed it before, but didn't give it a whole bunch of thought until now.  The thing that I've noticed is that I don't belong to any specific group that I can market to.Here in St. Louis there are Realtors who are Gay and who market to the Gay community or Bosnian Agents who market primarily to Bosnians.  I haven't bounced into her lately, but there is also a deaf agent who pretty much only works with other deaf people.Well, I'm not Gay or Bosnian or Deaf.  I'm Straight.  I'm Irish, Polish and probably a few other ethnicities mixed in, but don't speak any other language other than English (which I've been told that ...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Closed on the McDonald house today.  It was a smooth closing.  Had the walk-through at 9:00 am and the closing at 10:00.  I was happy for the buyer and the seller on this one.  I had this home listed last year for 6 months.  I really loved the seller, an elderly lady in her 80's.  She was such a nice woman.  She had three children who were handling everything for her, and they couldn't seem to agree on anything.  We listed too high for conditon.  The house has great bones, but I call it my "Grandma's" house.  It was immaculate, but needs updating.  We dropped the price once, and then I couldn't get them to drop anymore.  After 6 months, they did not want to renew with me.  I even considered purchasing the home myself (I could see the potential), but just didn't have the means at the tim...
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By R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham, Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
(Bank of England (NMLS#418481))
  Real Estate Bubble Bursting? I heard on the news the other day that existing real estate sales are down this past month after having been up a bit the previous month.  I'd have to say that based upon the number of times that my phone rang for showings and for property calls, that those figures were just about right.  That there was a bit of a spark last month, then "poof" it was gone.That said, how long is the current lull going to last?  One of the featured blogs today asked if we thought that buying real estate was a "buy", a "sell" or a "hold"?  My answer is that it's a "buy"!I based this answer upon demographic trends.  The population of the US just topped 300,000,00 and while population increases are slowing as the population ages, the total population of the country will continu...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
Busy day today.  Office meeting this morning.  Errands after that.  This afternoon, I applied the second coat of varnish on four doors of the Miami properties.  Two coats will have to be enough.  They will be protected by storm doors, so the finish should last longer.  Dennis has been painting door trim, thresholds, and the porch floor.  It's coming together.  Then I applied the third coat of poly/varnish on the porch bench at our house.  I am going to apply one more coat.  It was really in bad shape - alot of water damage.  Hopefully, this will protect it for a few years.This evening, I worked on the waterfall on the pond in the back yard.  I haven't been satisfied with the waterfall since we installed it.  It looks too artificial.  I had a beautiful large flat rock I was going to use ...
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By Tim Tanz, St Louis Real Estate
(Platinum Realty)
I've been reading the book titled, " The Dream Cycle," by Steve Moore.  I wanted to share some exerpts that I am finding helpful.  This is pretty powerful stuff, I believe...."Every one of us is on a journey toward who we want to be, who we were meant to be, and what we will achieve with our lives.  Making progress on that dream-inspire journey will require us to grow.""In order to realize your dreams, you must grow.  And growth demands change.  Therefore the Dream Cycle will never be complete in your life until you experience personal change.  I cannot stress this point too much:  you must change in order to realize your dreams.""The good news is change is possible.  You have the capacity to change because you have the ability to grow.  This is something you can do.  The bad news is th...
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